Hey Guys, here is the last episode. Hope you like it. Also, i have added my favorite song as the song that Lakshya plays for Ragini i.e “A Thousand Years”. That song really fits their situation here. I really hope you guys like the final update
Link to the previous episode : Episode 14
Lots of Love
“I’m not going.”
“Yes, you are,” Amit says, kicking my legs off the coffee table. “I’m bored out of my mind. Radhika works all weekend, and Lakshya is off doing God knows what with God knows who.”
I immediately look up at him with my heart caught in my throat.
He laughs. “That got your attention.” He reaches forward, grabs my hands, and pulls me off the couch. “I’m kidding. Lakshya is at home working, being a mopey little shit, just like you’re trying to be. Now, go get pretty and come out with me tonight, or I’ll sit on the couch with you and force you to watch porn .”
I pull my hands from his and walk to the kitchen. I open a cabinet, then grab a cup. “I don’t want to go out tonight, Amit. I had class all day, and it’s my only night off from the library. I’m sure you can find someone else to go with you.” I grab a container of juice from the refrigerator and fill my glass. Leaning against the counter, I take a sip as I watch Amit pout in my living room. He’s kind of adorable when he pouts, which is why I always give him such a hard time.
“Listen up, Rags,” he says, walking toward the kitchen. He grabs a bar stool and pulls it out, then takes a seat. “I’m about to lay things out for you, okay?”
I roll my eyes. “I doubt I can stop you, so go ahead.”
He lays his palms flat on the counter in front of him and leans forward. “You suck.”
I laugh. “That’s it? That’s what you needed to lay out for me?”
He nods. “You suck. So does Lakshya. Since the night I gave him your address, you’ve both sucked. All he does is work or write music. He doesn’t even play pranks on me anymore. Every time I’m over here, you’re just focused on studying. You never want to go out. You never want to hear my s*x stories anymore.”
“Correction,” I say, interrupting him. “I’ve never wanted to hear your s*x stories. That’s nothing new.”
“Whatever,” he says, shaking his head. “My point is that the two of you are miserable. I know you need time and blah, blah, blah, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up fun while you’re figuring your life out. I want to go have fun. No one wants to have fun with me anymore, and that’s all your fault, because you’re the only one who can put a stop to the misery you and Lakshya are going through. So, yes. You suck. You suck, you suck, you suck, And if you want to stop sucking so much, then go get dressed so we can go out and not suck together for just a few hours.”
I don’t know how to argue with that. I do suck. I suck, I suck, I suck. Only Amit could put it in such a simple, straightforward way that would actually make sense. I know I’ve been miserable the past few months, and it doesn’t help to know that Lakshya has been miserable, too. He’s miserable because he’s sitting around waiting for me to get over whatever it is that’s keeping me from contacting him.
The last thing he said in his letter to me was Just say when.
I’ve been trying to say when since the moment I read that letter, but I’m just too scared. I’ve never felt about anyone or anything the way I feel about him, and the thought of us not working out is enough to keep me from saying that one little word. I feel as if the longer we wait and the more time we have to heal, the better chance we’ll have at our maybe someday.
I keep waiting for the moment when I know for sure that he’s moved on from Ananya. I keep waiting for the moment when I know for sure that he’s ready to commit fully to me. I keep waiting for the moment when I know for sure that I’m not going to be consumed with guilt for allowing myself to trust someone with my heart again.
I don’t know when I’ll get to that point, and it hurts to know that my inability to move forward is holding Lakshya back.
“Now,” Amit says, shoving me out of the kitchen. “Get dressed.”
• • •
I can’t believe I’ve let him talk me into this. I check my makeup one last time and grab my purse. As soon as he sees me, he shakes his head. I huff and throw my hands in the air.
“What now?” I sigh. “I’m not dressed appropriately?”
“You look great, but I want you to wear the blue dress.”
“I burned that dress, remember?” I say.
“The hell you did,” he says, pushing me back toward my bedroom. “You were wearing it last week when I stopped by. Go put it on so we can leave.”
I spin around to face him. “I know how much you like that dress, and wearing it tonight while I’m out with you is a little too creepy, Amit.”
He narrows his eyes. “Listen, Rags. I don’t mean to be rude, but all this moping around for the past few months has caused you to put on a little weight. Your a*s looks huge in those jeans. The blue dress may be able to hide a little of that, so go put it on, or I might be too embarrassed to go out with you.”
I suddenly feel like slapping him again, but I know he’s just got a peculiar sense of humor. I also know he might have a completely different reason for why he wants me to wear this dress and I’m trying not to let myself think it has anything to do with Lakshya, but pretty much every situation I’m in somehow makes me think about Lakshya. It’s nothing new. But Amit is a guy who seems to put his foot in his mouth a lot, and I’m a girl, so I still wonder if his sarcastic remark has any truth to it. I have been replacing the void Lakshya left in my life with food. I look down at my stomach and pat it, then look back up at Amit. “You’re an asshole.”
He nods. “I know.”
The innocent smile on his face makes me instantly forgive any crudeness behind his joke. I change into the blue dress. Jerk.
• • •
“Wow. This is . . . different,” I say, taking in my surroundings. It’s nothing like the clubs Amit usually likes to go to. This one is a lot smaller, without even much of a dance floor. There’s an empty stage along one wall, but there’s no one performing tonight. Some CD is playing, and several people are scattered around at tables, talking quietly among themselves. Amit chooses a table toward the middle of the room.
“You’re a cheap date,” I say. “You didn’t even feed me.”
He laughs. “I’ll buy you a burger on the way home.”
Amit pulls out his phone and begins texting someone, so I look around for a while. It’s kind of cozy. It’s also kind of weird that Amit brought me here. But I’m thinking he doesn’t have any evil intentions, because he’s not even paying attention to me.
His attention is on his phone, and he keeps glancing at the door. I don’t understand why he wanted to come out tonight, and I especially don’t understand why he chose this place.
“You’re actually the one who sucks,” I say. “Stop ignoring me.”
He responds without even looking up at me. “You aren’t talking, so technically, I’m not ignoring you.”
I’m curious now. He’s not being himself, the way he’s so distracted. “What’s up with you, Amit?”
As soon as I ask the question, he looks up from his phone and smiles over my shoulder, then stands. “You’re late,” he says to someone behind me. I look to see Radhika walking toward us.
“Screw you, Amit,” she says to him with a small smile. He wraps his arms around her, and they kiss for several uncomfortable seconds. I reach up and tap him on the arm when I’m convinced that neither of them can breathe. He pulls away from Radhika, winks at her, and slides out his chair for her.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” he says to Radhika. He points at me. “Don’t go anywhere.”
He says it as if it’s a command, and it irritates me even more because he’s being really rude tonight. I turn and face Radhika once he’s left the table. “Amit said you were working all weekend,” I say.
She shrugs. “Yeah, well, he probably told you that because of the elaborate scheme he has planned for tonight. He made me come so you wouldn’t leave when you found out about it. Oh, and I’m not supposed to tell you any of that, so if he comes back, play dumb.”
My heart rate escalates. “Please tell me you’re kidding.”
She shakes her head and raises her arm in the air, calling over a waiter. “I wish I was kidding. I had to switch shifts to be here, and now I have to work a double tomorrow.”
I drop my head into my hands, regretting the fact that I let Amit talk me into anything. Just when I’m reaching for my purse to leave, he walks out onto the empty stage.
“Oh, God,” I groan. “What the hell is he doing?” My stomach is in knots. I have no idea what he has planned, but whatever it is, it can’t be good.
He taps on the microphone, then adjusts the height of it. “I’d like to thank everyone for coming tonight. Not that any of you are here for this particular event, since it’s a surprise, but I feel the need to thank you anyway.”
He adjusts the microphone once more, then finds our table in the crowd and waves. “I want to apologize to you, Rags, because I feel really bad for lying to you. You haven’t gained weight, and your a*s looked great in those jeans, but you really needed to wear that dress tonight. Also, you don’t suck. I lied about that, too.”
Several people in the crowd laugh, but I just groan and bury my face in my hands, peeking through my fingers at him up on the stage.
“All right, let’s get on with it, shall we? We have a few new songs for you tonight. Unfortunately, the whole band couldn’t be here, because”—he looks to his left at the small width of the stage, then to his right—“well, I don’t think they all could have fit. So I’d like to present to you a small portion of the band Petrichor.”
My heart falls to the floor. I close my eyes when the crowd begins to clap.
Please, let it be Lakshya.
Please, don’t let it be Lakshya.
God, when will this confusion go away?
I can hear commotion up on the stage, and I’m too scared to open my eyes. I want to see him sitting up there so much it hurts.
“Hey, Rags,” Amit says into the microphone. I inhale a slow, calming breath, then open my eyes and hesitantly look up at him. “Remember a few months ago when I told you sometimes we have to have really bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective?”
I think I nod. I can’t really feel my body anymore.
“Well, this is one of the good days. This is one of the really good days.” He raises his hand in the air and motions to my table. “Somebody get that girl a shot of whatever will help loosen her up.”
He moves the microphone to the stool next to him, and my eyes are glued to the empty chairs. Someone lays a shot on the table in front of me, and I instantly grab it and down it. I drop the shot glass back onto the table and look up just in time to see them walk onto the stage. Sanskar is first, and Lakshya is right behind him, carrying a guitar.
Oh, my God. He looks incredible. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him on a stage. I’ve been wanting to watch him perform since the first moment I heard his guitar on my balcony and here I am, about to watch my fantasy become reality.
He looks the same as he did the last time I saw him, just . . . incredible. I guess he looked incredible back then, too. I just didn’t feel right allowing myself to admit it when I knew he wasn’t mine. I must feel okay about it now, because holy crap. He’s beautiful. He carries himself with such confidence and I can definitely see why. His arms look as if they were built for the sole purpose of carrying a guitar. It molds to him so naturally, it’s as if it’s an extension of him. There isn’t a shadow of guilt clouding his eyes like there always was in the past. He’s smiling, like he’s excited for what’s about to happen. His enigmatic smile lights up his face and his face lights up the entire room. At least it seems that way to me. He glances over the audience several times as he makes his way toward his seat, but he doesn’t immediately spot me.
He takes a seat on the center stool, and Sanskar sits to the left of him, Amit to his right. He signs to Amit, and Amit points at me. Lakshya looks out into the audience and finds me. My hands are clamped over my mouth, and my elbows are propped up on the table. He smiles and gives me a nod and my heart crashes to the floor.. I can’t smile or wave or nod back at him. I’m too nervous to move.
Sanskar leans forward and speaks into the microphone. “We’ve got a few old songs and one new —”
His voice is cut off when Lakshya pulls the microphone away from him and leans in toward it. “Ragini,” Lakshya says into the microphone, “some of these songs I wrote with you. But, one song I wrote for you.”
I can hear a small difference in the way he speaks now. I’ve never heard him say so much at once out loud. He also seems to enunciate a little more clearly than the few times he’s spoken to me in the past, like the subject in the photograph is slightly more in focus. It’s obvious he’s been working on it, and knowing he’s continued to talk out loud makes my eyes tear up without even having heard a song yet.
“If you aren’t ready to say the word, that’s fine,” he says. “I’ll wait as long as you need me to. I just hope you don’t mind this interruption tonight.” He pushes the microphone away, then looks down to his guitar. Sanskar leans into the microphone and looks at me.
“He can’t hear what I’m saying right now, so I’ll take this opportunity to tell you Lakshya is full of crap. He doesn’t want to wait anymore. He wants you to say the word more than he wants air. So please, for the sake of all that is holy, say the word tonight.”
I laugh as I wipe a tear from my eye.
Lakshya plays the opening chords to the song he wrote with me, and I finally realize why Amit made me wear this dress. Sanskar leans forward and begins to sing, and I remain completely immobile as Amit signs every word to the song while Lakshya keeps his focus on the fingers strumming his guitar. Watching the three of them together, seeing the beauty they can create from a few words and guitars, is mesmerizing.
When the song ends, I look up at her.
She’s crying, but those tears are accompanied by a smile, and that’s exactly what I was hoping I would see when I looked up from my guitar. Seeing her for the first time since I kissed her good-bye has a far greater effect on me than I thought it would. I’m trying my damnedest to remember what it is I’m here to do, but all I want to do is toss my guitar aside, rush to her, and kiss her crazy.
Instead, I keep my eyes trained on hers while I play another song she helped me write. I begin the opening chords to that song. She smiles and clutches a hand to her chest while she watches me play.
It’s times like these I’m actually thankful I can’t hear. Not being distracted by anything at all allows me to focus on nothing but her. I can feel the music vibrating in my chest as I watch her lips singing along to the lyrics until the very last line.
I planned on playing a few more songs we wrote together, but seeing her has changed my mind. I want to get to the new songs I wrote for her, because I absolutely need to see her reaction to them. I start one of them, knowing Amit and Sanskar will have no problem falling into step with the change-up. Her eyes glisten when she realizes that this is a song she’s never heard before, and she leans forward in her chair, focusing intently on the three of us.
There are only twenty-six letters in the English alphabet. You would think there would only be so much you could do with twenty-six letters. You would think there were only so many ways those letters could make you feel when mixed up and shoved together to make words.
However, there are infinite ways those twenty-six letters can make a person feel, and this song is living proof. I’ll never understand how a few simple words strung together can change a person, but this song, these words, are completely changing me. I feel like my maybe someday just became my right now.
I finish the song and don’t give myself time to look up at her before I begin playing the new one. I’m afraid if I look at her, I’ll lose every bit of willpower still keeping me up on this stage. I want to go to her so bad, but I know how important it is for her to hear this next song. I also don’t want to be the one to make the final choice. If she’s ready to be with me, she knows what I need from her. If she’s not ready, I’ll respect her decision.
However, if she’s not ready to begin the life I know we could have together by the end of this song, I don’t know if she’ll ever be ready.
I keep my eyes trained on my fingers as they work the strings of the guitar. I glance at Sanskar, and he leans forward into the microphone, his voice starting on cue. I glance to Amit, and he begins signing the words.
I slowly scan the crowd and find her again.
Our eyes lock.
I don’t look away.
“Wow,” Radhika whispers. Her eyes are glued to the stage just like mine. Just like every other pair of eyes in the room. The three of them make one hell of a team, but knowing that these words are Lakshya’s words and he wrote them specifically for me leaves me feeling more than overwhelmed. I can’t look away from him. For the entire length of the song, I barely move. I barely breathe.
The day we met
Frozen I held my breath
Right from the start
I knew that I found a home
For my heart beats fast
Colours and promises
How to be brave
How can I love
When I’m afraid, to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow
One Step Closer
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid
I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every hour has come to this
One Step Closer
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid
I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
And all along
I believed I would find you
Time has brought
Heart to me
I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
Our gazes never deviate from each other. Throughout the song, her focus remains solely on mine and mine on hers. When the song ends, I don’t move. I wait for her mind and her life to catch up to her heart, and I hope it happens soon. Tonight. Right now.
She wipes tears from her eyes, then lifts her hands. She holds up her left index finger, brings her right index finger close to the left and circles it around, and then the tips of her fingers touch.
I can’t move.
She just signed for me.
She just said “when.”
Seeing her sign is something I never expected. It’s something I never would have even asked her to do. Learning how to communicate with me the whole time we’ve been apart is the most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me.
I’m shaking my head, unable to get it through my mind that this girl is willingly mine and she’s perfect and beautiful and good and, holy shit, I love her so much.
She’s smiling, but I’m still frozen in shock.
She laughs at my response and signs the word again, several times. “When, when, when.”
Sanskar shoves my shoulder, and I look over at him. He laughs. “Go,” he signs, nodding his head in Ragini’s direction. “Go get your girl.”
I immediately drop my guitar to the floor and rush off the stage. She pushes away from her table as soon as she sees me making my way toward her. She’s only a few feet away, but I can’t get to her fast enough. I take in the dress she has on and make a mental note to thank Amit later. I have a feeling he had something to do with that.
I look into her tear-filled eyes when I finally reach her. She’s smiling up at me, and for the first time since the moment I met her, we’re looking at each other without a trace of guilt or worry or regret or shame.
She throws her arms around my neck, and I pull her to me and bury my face in her hair. I hold her head firmly against me and close my eyes. We hold on to each other as if we’re afraid to let go.
I can feel her crying, so I put enough space between us so I can look into her eyes. She lifts her head, and I’ve never seen tears look more beautiful.
“You signed,” I say out loud.
She smiles. “You spoke. A lot.”
“I’m not very good at it,” I admit. I know my words are hard to understand, and I still feel uncomfortable when I speak, but I love seeing her eyes when she hears my voice. It makes me want to speak every single word I possibly can right here and now.
“I’m not good, either,” she says. She pulls away from me and lifts her hands to sign. “Amit has been helping me. I only know about two hundred words, but I’m learning.”
It’s been several months since I last saw her, and while I’ve been trying to believe she still wanted to be with me, I did have my doubts. I was starting to question our decision to wait before starting our relationship. What I never expected was for her to spend those months learning how to communicate with me in a way my own parents didn’t even care enough to learn.
“I just fell completely in love with you,” I say to her. I glance at Radhika, who is still seated at the table. “Did you see it, Radhika? Did you see me just fall in love with her?”
Radhika rolls her eyes, and I feel Ragini laugh. I look back down at her. “I did. Like twenty seconds ago. I fell completely in love with you.”
She smiles and mouths her next words slowly so I can understand her. “I fell first.”
When the last word passes her lips, I catch it with my mouth. Since the second I walked away from these lips, I’ve done nothing but think about the moment I would get to taste them again. She pulls me tightly against her, and I kiss her hard, then delicately, then fast and slow and every way in between. I kiss her every way I can possibly kiss her, because I plan on loving her every way I can possibly love her. Every single time we refused to cave in to our feelings in the past makes this kiss completely worth the sacrifices. This kiss is worth all the tears, all the heartache, all the pain, all the struggles, all the waiting.
She’s worth it all.
She’s worth more.
We make it to my apartment somehow between all the kissing. He releases me long enough to let me unlock the door, but he loses his patience as soon as it’s unlocked. I laugh when he shoves the door open and pushes me inside. He closes the door, locks it, and turns around to face me again. We look at each other for several seconds.
“Hi,” he says simply.
I laugh. “Hi.”
He looks around the room nervously before his eyes fall back to mine. “Is that good enough?” he asks.
I tilt my head, because I don’t really understand his question. “Is what good enough?”
He grins. “I was hoping that was enough talk for tonight.”
I get his question now.
I nod slowly, and he smiles, then steps forward and kisses me. He bends slightly and lifts me by the waist, wrapping my legs around him. He secures his arms around my back and begins walking me toward my bedroom.
As many times as I’ve seen this happen in movies and read about it in books, I’ve never actually been picked up and carried by a man before. I think I’m in love with it. Being carried into a bedroom by Lakshya is quite possibly my new favourite thing out of any and all things.
That is, until he kicks my bedroom door shut behind him. Maybe Lakshya kicking doors shut is my new favourite thing.
He gently lowers me to the bed, and even though I’m sad that he’s not carrying me anymore, I’m a little bit happier to find myself beneath him. Every single move he makes is better and s*xier than the last one. He pauses for a moment as he hovers over me, and his eyes roam sensually over my entire body, until they come to a pause on the hem of my dress. He reaches down and pushes it up, and I lift myself up off the bed just enough for him to pull it over my head.
He sucks in a breath when he looks down at me and sees that the only thing coming between him and a completely naked me is a very thin layer of panty. He begins to lower himself on top of me, but I push on his chest and shake my head, tugging on his shirt to let him know it’s his turn. He grins and quickly pulls his shirt over his head, then leans in toward me again. I push against him once more, and he reluctantly lifts himself up, shooting me a look of amused annoyance. I point to his jeans, and he backs away from the bed, and in two swift movements, the rest of his clothes are somewhere on my bedroom floor. I don’t quite catch where he tossed them, because my eyes are sort of preoccupied.
He makes his way on top of me again, and I don’t stop him this time. I welcome him by wrapping my legs around his waist and my arms around his back and guiding his mouth back to mine.
We mold and fit together so perfectly it’s as if we were made for this sole purpose. His left hand fits perfectly into mine as he brings my arm above my head and presses it into the mattress. His tongue melds perfectly with mine as he continues to tease my entire mouth as if it were made for this very purpose. His right hand seamlessly conforms to my outer thigh as he digs his fingers into my skin and shifts his weight perfectly against me.
His mouth leaves mine long enough to taste my jaw . . . my neck . . . my shoulder.
I don’t know how being consumed by him could lend clarity to my purpose in life, but it absolutely feels that way. Everything about me and him and life makes so much more sense when we’re together like this. He makes me feel more beautiful. More important. More loved. More needed. I feel more everything, and with every second that passes, I become more and more greedy, wanting all of every single part of him.
I push against his chest, needing space between us so I can sign to him. He looks down at my hands when he realizes what I’m doing. I hope I get it right, because I’ve practiced signing this sentence no fewer than a thousand times since I last saw him.
“I have something I need to say before we do this.”
He pulls back a few inches, watching my hands, waiting.
I sign the words “I love you.”
His eyebrows draw apart, and relief floods his eyes. He lowers his mouth to my hands and kisses them, over and over, then quickly pulls farther away, unwrapping my legs from around his waist. Just when I begin to fear he’s come to some absurd notion that we need to stop, he lowers himself to my side but leans over me and presses his ear against my chest.
“I want to feel you say it.”
I press my lips into his hair, then lightly secure him against me. “I love you, Lakshya,” I whisper.
His grip tightens around my waist, so I continue repeating it several times.
I keep his head pressed against my chest with both hands. He releases his grip on my waist and trails his hand over my stomach, causing my muscles to clench beneath his touch. He continues stroking his hand in sensuous circles over my stomach. I stop repeating the words and focus on where his hand is traveling, but he stops abruptly.
“I don’t feel you saying it,” he says.
“I love you,” I quickly repeat. When the words leave my lips, his fingers begin moving again. As soon as I’m quiet, his fingers stop.
It doesn’t take me long to figure out what game he’s playing. I grin and say it again.
“I love you.”
His fingers slip inside the top edge of my panties, and my voice grows quiet again. It’s really hard for me to speak when his hand is that close. It’s really hard to do anything. His fingers come to a pause just inside my panties when he doesn’t feel me talking. I want his hand to keep moving, so I somehow breathe the words.
“I love you.”
His hand slides further inside and stops. I close my eyes and say it again. Slowly.
“I . . . love . . . you.”
What he does next with his hand causes me to repeat the words again instantly.
And again and again and again, until my panties are somewhere on the floor, and I’ve said the words so many times and so fast that I’m almost screaming them now. He continues to prove with the expertise of his hand that he’s quite possibly the absolute best listener I’ve ever encountered.
“I love you,” I whisper one last time between faltered and shallow breaths. I’m too weak to utter the words again, and my hands fall away from his head and land against the mattress with a thud.
He lifts his head away from my chest and scoots upward until his face is so close to mine our noses brush. “I love you, too,” he says with a smug grin.
I smile, he keeps his eyes focused on mine, never once looking away.
The way he’s looking at me, as if I’m the only thing that matters in his world, makes the moment take on a whole new feel. I’m completely consumed, not by waves of pleasure but by waves of raw emotion. I didn’t know I could feel someone this much. I didn’t know I could need someone this much. I had no idea I was capable of sharing this kind of connection with someone.
Lakshya lifts a hand and wipes away a tear from my temple, then dips his head and kisses me, gentle and soft, coaxing even more tears out of me. It’s the perfect kiss for the perfect moment. I know he feels what I’m feeling, because my tears don’t alarm him at all. He knows they’re not tears of regret or sadness. They’re simply tears. Emotional tears stemming from an emotional moment that I never imagined could be this incredible.
He’s waiting patiently for my permission, so I nod softly, and it’s all the confirmation he needs. He lowers his cheek to mine and slowly begins to ease himself against me. I squeeze my eyes shut and focus on trying to relax, but my entire body is way too tense.
I’ve never had s*x with Vikrant. The thought of sharing this experience with Lakshya, as much as I want to, makes me so nervous I’m physically unable to hide my discomfort.
He can sense my apprehension, so he pauses and stills himself above me. I love how in tune he is with me already. He looks down at me, his dark brown eyes searching mine. He takes both of my hands and pulls them over my head, then laces our fingers together and presses them into the mattress. He leans into my ear. “Want me to stop?”
I quickly shake my head no.
He laughs softly. “Then you have to relax, Rags.”
I bite my bottom lip and nod, completely loving the fact that he just said “Rags” out loud. He runs his nose down my jawline, then brings his lips close to mine. Every touch sends waves of heat coursing through me, but it doesn’t ease my apprehension. Everything about this moment is so perfect I’m afraid I might do something to mess it up. It can’t get any better, so that only leaves things with one direction to go.
“Are you nervous?” he asks. His voice brushes across my mouth, and I slide my tongue over my bottom lip, convinced that I could taste his words if I tried.
I nod, and his eyes soften with his smile.
“Me, too,” he whispers. He squeezes my hands tighter and then lays his head across my bare chest. I can feel the rhythm of his body rise and fall against mine with every tense breath. His entire body sighs, and one by one, each muscle begins to relax. His hands are still, and he’s not exploring my body or listening to me sing or having me tell him I love him.
He’s still, because he’s listening to me.
He’s listening to the beat of my heart.
His head lifts off my chest in one swift motion as he locks eyes with mine. Whatever realization he’s just had causes his gaze to pierce mine with excitement.
“I want to try something that might help,” he says. “Do you have earplugs?”
I know the confusion can be seen in my expression. I nod anyway and point to the nightstand. He leans over me, opens the drawer, and feels around inside. When he finds them, he lowers himself beside me again, then places them in the palm of my hand. He motions for me to put them in my ears.
He smiles and kisses me, then trails his lips to my ear. “I want you to hear me love you.”
I look down at the earplugs, then back up at him questioningly. “How can I hear you if I’m wearing these?”
He shakes his head, then places his hands over my ears. “Not here,” he says. He moves a hand to my chest. “I want you to hear me from right here.”
That’s all the explanation I need. I quickly put the earplugs in, then adjust my head on my pillow. All the noise around me slowly fades away. I wasn’t aware of all the sounds I was taking in until they no longer run through my head. I don’t hear the clock ticking anymore. I no longer hear the usual activity outside my window. I can’t hear the sheets moving beneath us or the pillow under my head or the bed when he shifts his weight.
I hear nothing.
He grabs my hand and opens up my palm, then turns my hand around and places it over my heart. Once my palm is flush against my heart, he reaches to my face and brushes his hand over my eyes, closing them. He scoots himself away from me until he’s no longer touching any part of me.
He becomes still, and I no longer feel him moving next to me.
I hear absolutely nothing. I’m not sure this is working out the way he imagined.
I hear nothing but complete silence. I hear what Lakshya hears every moment of his life. The only thing I’m aware of is my own heartbeat and nothing else. Nothing at all.
I open my eyes and look at him. He’s several inches away from me on the bed, smiling. He knows I hear it. He smiles softly, then pulls my hand away from my heart and places it against his chest. Tears begin to well in my eyes. I have no idea how or if I even deserve him, but there’s one thing I know for sure. As long as he’s a part of it, I’ll never live a life of mediocrity. My life with Lakshya will be nothing short of remarkable.
He rolls on top of me and lowers his cheek to mine, holding completely still for several long seconds.
I can’t hear his breaths, but I feel them as they fall against my neck.
I can’t hear his movements, but I feel him when he begins making the softest, most subtle shifts against me.
Our hands are still locked between us, so I focus on the beat of his heart, drumming against my palm.
Beat, beat, pause.
Beat, beat, pause.
Beat, beat, pause.
I can feel my entire body relaxing beneath him while he continues to make the subtlest of movements against me. He presses his hips into mine for two seconds, then relaxes and pulls back for a brief second before repeating the motion. He repeats this movement several times, and I can feel my need for him growing with each rhythmic movement against me.
The more my desire builds, the more impatient I become. I want to feel his mouth on mine. I want to feel his hands all over me. I want to feel him push inside me and make me his completely.
The more I think about what I want from him, the more responsive I become to the subtle shifts of his weight against me. The more responsive I become, the faster our hearts race against the palms of our hands.
Beat, beat, pause.
The faster our hearts race, the quicker his rhythm becomes, matching each beat of my heart movement for movement.
He’s moving to the sound of my heart.
I wrap my free arm around his neck and focus on his heartbeat, instantly aware that our hearts are perfectly in sync. I tighten my legs around his waist and lift myself against him, wanting him to make my heart beat even faster. He skims his lips across my cheek until they’re flush against my mouth, but he doesn’t kiss me. The silence around me makes me even more aware of the pattern of his breath falling against my skin. I focus on my palm against his chest and feel his quick intake of air, seconds before I taste the sweetness of his breath as he exhales, teasing my mouth.
His rhythmic breathing becomes quicker when his tongue slips inside my mouth, gently caressing the tip of mine.
If I could hear, I’m positive I would have just heard myself whimper. It’s becoming a habit whenever he’s around.
I move my hand to the back of his head, needing to taste more of him. I pull him to me with such sudden urgency he moans into my mouth. Feeling his moan without hearing it is probably the most sensual thing I’ve ever experienced. His voice as it passes through me does more than hearing it ever could.
Lakshya slides his hand away from my heart and presses his forearms into the mattress on both sides of my head. He boxes me in with his arms, and I slide my hand away from his chest, needing to grab hold of him with all my strength. What little I have left, anyway.
I feel him pull farther back, and then, without hesitation, he pushes inside me, claiming me, filling me.
I . . .
Can’t . . .
Dear God. He just silenced my heart, because I can no longer feel it at all. The only thing I feel is him moving against me . . . away from me . . . inside of me . . . into me. I’m completely consumed by him.
I keep my eyes closed and listen to him without hearing a thing, experiencing him silently, the same way he’s experiencing me. I soak in every single beautiful thing about the smoothness of his skin and the feel of his breath and the taste of our moans, until it’s impossible to tell us apart.
We continue to explore each other quietly, finding all the parts of ourselves we’ve only been able to imagine up to this point.
When my body begins to tense again, it’s not at all because I’m nervous this time. I can sense his muscles clenching beneath my hands, and I grip his shoulders, ready to fall with him. He presses his cheek firmly to mine, and I feel him groan against my neck, making two final, long thrusts at the same second as I feel the moans escaping my throat.
He begins to tremble with his release but somehow pulls his hand between us again and presses it against my heart. He’s shaking against me, and I’m doing my best to regain control of my own shudders while he begins to slow himself down, once again to the rhythm of my heart.
His movements grow so soft and subtle I can barely feel them through all the tears I’m crying. I don’t even know why I’m crying, because this is by far the most indescribable feeling that has ever come over me.
Maybe that’s why I’m crying.
Lakshya relaxes on top of me and brings his mouth back to mine. He kisses me so softly and for so long my tears eventually subside and are replaced with complete silence, accompanied only by the rhythm of our hearts.
I close the bathroom door and return to her on the bed. Her face is illuminated by the moonlight pouring through the windows. Her mouth is curled up into a soft smile as I lower myself down beside her. I slide my arm beneath her shoulders, then lay my head on her chest and close my eyes.
I love the sound of her.
I love her. Everything about her. I love that she’s never judged me. I love that she understands me. I love that despite everything I’ve put her heart through, she’s done nothing but support my decisions, no matter how much they destroyed her at the time. I love her honesty. I love her selflessness. Most of all, I love that I’m the one who gets to love all these things about her.
“I love you,” I feel her say.
I close my eyes and listen as she continues to repeat the phrase again and again. I adjust my ear until it’s directly over her heart, savoring every single thing about her. Her smell, her touch, her voice, her love.
I’ve never felt so much at once.
I’ve never needed to feel more.
I lift my head and look back down into her eyes.
She’s a part of me now.
I’m a part of her.
I kiss her softly on the nose and mouth and chin, then press my ear against her heart again. For the first time in my life, I hear absolutely everything.